Seminar on teaching Japanese to foreign children

Volunteers supporting foreign children in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, have attended a seminar on teaching Japanese in Mito City.

The Ibaraki International Association organized the event for more than 60 people on Thursday.

Many foreign children who do not understand Japanese are attending local schools. Some of the volunteers are already giving them Japanese lessons.

In the seminar, an expert on Japanese-language education explained what to keep in mind when teaching foreign children.

The expert said children are often confused by the differences between the Japanese spoken in daily life and the expressions in textbooks.
She also introduced video materials for teaching children.

The number of foreign residents has been on the rise in the prefecture.

Prefectural officials say 3,091 foreign children were attending public elementary and junior high schools as of May. They say more than one-third of them require support in learning Japanese.

One participant says it's important to help foreign children to learn Japanese from an early stage. She says she usually teaches adults, so she learned a lot in the seminar.

The association plans to hold the seminars on a regular basis.